New Delhi: The Cabinet is expected to consider on Thursday the bill for setting up coal sector regulator to ensure transparency in the allocation of coal blocks and to expedite the resolution of pricing disputes.

"The Cabinet may take up Coal Regulatory bill tomorrow," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.
About a fortnight ago, the coal ministry had said it will soon come out with the Coal Regulatory Bill, 2012.

"I have already signed [the Bill] and it has been sent to the Cabinet (for approval)," Jaiswal had said.

The bill got delayed as it had to be sent back to the Law Ministry. The amendments include changes in age and expanding qualification of the legal member of the proposed regulator.

The bill seeks to provide level-playing field to all stakeholders, besides ensuring transparency in coal blocks allocation to companies. It would also make recommendations for reforms in the coal sector.

The regulator, as provided in the Bill, will attempt to expedite resolution of disputes relating to pricing of coal and put in place benchmarks for performance of companies in the sector.

Recently, a draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had pointed out that the government lost Rs 10.67 lakh crore on account of allotment of coal blocks to 100 private and public sector companies during 2004 to 2009.

While replying to the questions in the Lok Sabha on March 14, Jaiswal had said the coal sector would soon get a regulator as the government has finalised a draft bill for the purpose.


Latest news from India News Desk